Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A weekend in Georgia (the state, not the country, that is...)

So I'd love to have some good stories from Savannah. I went for a long weekend to see my mom - she was at a medical conference, and, as has become our tradition over the last few years, I flew out to see her.

I'm not sure if the problem was my Saturday flu shot, but it seems an eery coincidence. On Wednesday morning, as I packed my bag for Georgia, I felt slightly unwell. By the time I got off the plane in Savannah, I was hit by a full-out bug that closely resembled a flu. We'll just leave it at the fact that almost my entire vacation was spent sleeping in the hotel room. I've heard of this happening to other people, and I guess I've been traveling enough that it was my turn.

My mother saw all sorts of interesting things in Savannah: old mansions, an Ansel Adams exhibit at the art gallery, historical plazas and monuments of note. I watched far too many re-runs of CSI and several nature shows on the National Geographic channel. Who knew that native caimans are in a battle with invasive pythons in the Florida Everglades for top predator, and that tapirs use their snout as a snorkel in the Brazilian Pantanal.

I did, however, manage to make it out of the hotel for a couple of brief excursions. The first was round the plazas - beautiful live oak trees covered in Spanish moss and surrounded by beautiful brick houses with elaborate iron-works (as my mother pointed out, just like the Haunted House in Disneyland. which is true. though perhaps intended the other way around). We had lunch in the Gryphon Tea Room - a fabulous old pharmacy-turned-teahouse. The service is restrained, the sandwiches beautiful and the tent-like ceiling decorations elegant. The best part, of course, being the other people: a bridal shower in the corner represented by every generation of women, a pair of young professional women gossiping about their mutual friends, and the rather loud group of tourists who were just so excited, and slightly baffled, about the whole experience of high tea.

On the Saturday I was up for a drive down to an old plantation. The plantation - now a state park - used to be a rice plantation before the civil war, and then became a dairy farm until the 70's. It was beautiful and fascinating - not quite as wealthy or sumptuous as Gone With the Wind, but a beautiful view and lots of scope for the imagination. However, the intriguing aspect being how glossed-over the role of slavery was. Parts of the exhibits almost made it sound like it wasn't that bad or, if not acceptable, at least not worth investigating or presenting in great detail. This seems like a gross omission - not discussed or addressed in the historical context. But perhaps I wasn't quite coherent enough to notice. Nonetheless, the large oaks are spectacular, and getting a feel for the rather dry and drought-affected landscape worth the expedition.

Of course, a day after I got back to Boulder, I'm perfectly healthy... minus the bike crash on the way to the dentist yesterday morning, but that's a different story...

So all in all, I will have to go back to Georgia and actually see these beautiful mansions. And eat a few more pralines... mmm... pralines...

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